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Black History Month 2022

Black History Month 2022

Pupils and staff across Canford have been marking Black History Month with a programme involving all academic departments and internal activities complemented by a range of external expert speakers. 

Author, broadcaster and educator Jeffrey Boakye spoke to Fifth Formers via Teams about his life, the language surrounding race, and ways in which we can all reflect on our own identity.  Jemma Roye, Founder of ‘Let’s Start A Conversation’, spent three days talking to all Canford pupils discussing their lived experiences and how we can continue to build a strong anti-racist community. Founder of online education platform Enrich Learning and growth business online mentor The Process, Onyinye Udokporo spoke to Fourth and Fifth Formers about social mobility, while award winning social entrepreneur George Uboro talked about reversing current employment trends and some of his most significant projects, including co-founding The Black Excellence Network and his work with Department for Education, UCAS, McKinsey & Co and MediaCom.   

Celebrations extended to food with a special Black History Month themed lunch and there was a lively Sixth Form debate with the motion ‘This House supports the celebration of Black History Month’.

Departmentally, the History Department and Global Connections Group collaborated to create a Black History Month calendar in the theme of ‘Sharing Journeys’. Each day has a picture of a significant individual in History with a clickable link to an article or video which will provide further information on the individual.   In English, Anglo-Guyanese writer and teacher Carinya Sharples visited for National Poetry Day, and throughout the month pupils were given insight into the diverse range of poetry on the IGCSE syllabus.  Business and Economics lessons focused on financial and economic issues in different countries, Mathematicians explored the work of Benjamin Banneker, MFL considered Immigration and Multicultural societies and PE looked at under-represented groups in sport.  The diversity of Rome in 64AD was part of the work in Classics, Philosophers considered William Wilberforce and the slave trade and Biologists assessed biological evidence supporting the concept of race and the complicated legacy of Charles Darwin.  Physicists studied orbits, while Geographers considered the role of colonisation in wealth inequality.  The Drama department took the opportunity to look at recordings of ‘Small Island’ and ‘The Mysteries’ and continued teaching on ‘Noughts and Crosses’ as part of the GCSE curriculum. 

Pupils and staff have also been encouraged to discover more through extended reading, with the Canford librarians recommending a list of 100 fiction and non fiction titles.

Richard Redwood – Assistant Head Personal Development commented:  Black History Month offers us an opportunity to pick up conversations with the Canford community surrounding race. Learning about Black History is vital to our understanding of race in Britain today. An understanding of the history of Black people within the UK makes sure that pupils value the contributions of Black Britons, as well as understanding why many of the problems we see today still exist.  Whilst many argue that a month is not enough, we hope that at Canford raising awareness in October leads to a year-long conversation about racial equality.

For the full programme, visit Canford Black History Month 2022